India arrests two for planning attacks in Mumbai
* Anti-terrorism police chief says Rashid and Ali are Indians who took orders from across the border
* Says they intended to target a fuel facility and a shopping centre
MUMBAI: Indian police said on Sunday they had arrested two men for planning to attack a fuel facility and a shopping centre in India’s financial and entertainment capital Mumbai, where terrorists killed 166 people in November 2008.
The two are Indian nationals, Mumbai residents and have been identified as Abdul Latif Rashid and Riyaz Ali, aged 29 and 23 respectively, Mumbai’s anti-terrorism police chief KP Raghuvansh, told reporters.
They intended to target a fuel storage complex, offices, oil tankers and housing estates owned by the state-run energy firm Oil and Natural Gas Commission and a popular shopping arcade, he said.
“These two have been in constant touch with their leaders sitting across the border and when we thought they were planning to act, we arrested them. The suspects are being interrogated and will remain in custody until Thursday, when they will appear before a judge and be assigned lawyers,” Raghuvansh said. Vinesh Agarwal, an inspector with Mumbai’s anti-terrorism squad said the suspects planned to attack three to four targets in the city. Following the latest arrests, police have further tightened security measures with additional police patrolling markets and cinemas.
India has blamed the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Tayyaba for the 2008 Mumbai attacks on luxury hotels, a restaurant and a Jewish cultural centre.
Nine of the 10 people who carried out those attacks died as security forces fought to regain control of the city. The sole surviving gunman, Ajmal Kasab, is currently facing trial in an Indian court.
Last month, around 16 people were killed in a blast at a restaurant and popular bakery in the city of Pune, 100 kilometres from Mumbai. Mumbai is hosting several Indian Premier League (IPL) matches featuring Indian and international players. There have been reports that terrorists might try to disrupt the tournament and also target the Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi later this year. agencies